Synopsys Employees Become Stewards at Hidden Villa

June 26, 2016

By Gabriel McLarnan

EcoCenter, Palo Alto– As the 15th largest software company in the world, Synopsys is one of Silicon Valley’s leaders in semiconductors and electronic design automation. At the EV, we praise a company like Synopsys that aims to create strong relationships with the the local community. Through programs such as Synopsys shares, which empowers employees to organize volunteer initiatives in their local community, the company’s Community Affairs department truly follows its values  to strengthen, to engage, and to inspire. One Synopsys shares initiative that demonstrates the commitment to employee volunteer work was in 2014 during Synopsys’ weeklong service project at Hidden Villa in Los Altos Hills.

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Photo Credit: Ellie Van Houtte and the Los Altos Town Crier

For one week, everyday at 8:30 am, 500 Synopsys employees meandered their way into Hidden Villa and grouped themselves together at their project sites. The Synopsys employees engaged in mulching projects that brought numerous benefits in terms of the soil quality at Hidden Villa. Their work helped prevent weeds from growing, which kept moisture in the ground so that the soil remained compact and suitable for planting. Synopsys employees also worked on Bat Houses that would be placed around the valley encompassing Hidden Villa, allowing new habitat for bats and new teaching moments for volunteers.

Photo Credit: Ellie Van Houtte and the Los Altos Town Crier

Situated in the hills of Los Altos, Hidden Villa uses its organic farm, wilderness, and community to teach and provide opportunities to learn about the environment. Central to Hidden Villa’s history is the theme of stewardship and one of the programs where this value materializes is the Environmental Education Program for Schools (HVEEP) founded on the first Earth Day in 1970. In line with Hidden Villa’s mission, HVEEP aims to inspire a sense of wonder and discovery for the natural world by using the charm of the grounds to capture the attention of visitors. Young students gain hands-on experiences with Hidden Valley’s farm animals and organic garden.

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In 2013, a year-long Synopsys Foundation program in Taiwan delivered science education to 2,000 underprivileged elementary and junior high school students. The mission of the Taiwan program was clearly outlined by Synopsys Taiwan Chairman Robbins Yeh at the outset when he said, “Synopsys volunteers will work together with teachers from the foundation to teach students in an easily understandable way and help stimulate students’ interest in science.” He additionally said “our participation in the foundation’s science education is another milestone of helping improve local science education.”

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At the EV, we especially connect with this initiative to bring science education to lower income communities in Santa Clara and San Mateo. For example, in Ravenswood school district, a community where 90% of the families are considered low-income, some of the students see the ocean for the first time on a EV sponsored field trip. One of the greatest sources of satisfaction for a volunteer at the EV is seeing the inception of curiosity for one of these students and forever altering their life in a positive way. Synopsys demonstrates their committment to the triple botom line by inspiring a love of science in the next generation. It is clear that Synopsys is not only a pillar in the tech community, but also a steadfast model of a company that equally values corporate stewardship.

At the EV, we celebrate Synopsys for their motivation to volunteer at an organization like Hidden Villa because it demonstrates that the company has a vested interest in stewardship for the environment in much the same way as the EV. In addition to our recognition of Synopsys, we also sympathize with the mission of the passionate and driven people at Hidden Villa.